Residual Energy and How It Impacts the Empath

You have probably heard of the expression “residual energy.” It is a term all Empaths become familiar with. It is often used when describing the energy remnants left in objects, places or buildings by the people who have gone before.

When a traumatic event has happened in an area, it leaves a powerful imprint which Empaths can pick up on. The same can be said if there has been a lot of anger, hate or erratic emotions within a particular place.

Certain rooms in most houses contain a host of different vibes and residual energy. Bedrooms, where confused, angry or moody teens grew up, can acquire a dense energy stain. Living-rooms, where families relax and come together, often have a laid back vibe.

Like many other Empaths, I have always sensed residual energy within buildings and locations. But I did not always know what it was I sensed. If I felt a dense energetic imprint, when I was younger, in the places I visited, I immediately assumed  the space was haunted. The denser and darker the energy, the more I convinced myself a spooky spectre was lurking within the shadows (I had a big fear of ghosts in childhood). The stronger the energy the more it felt like a presence.


But dark residual energy can indeed feel like a malevolent presence to an Empath. It certainly took me a while to distinguish between the stain left by painful emotions and that of other phenomena. Just like defining the emotional energy in others, it can be a challenge for an Empath to interpret residual energy.

Most used buildings contain a layer of residual energy — both positive and negative. Empaths pick up on these vibes rather like first impressions. We notice them at first but don’t always continue to if we visit a place often.

When a house is filled with love and happiness it can feel like the sun is shining indoors. However, when a home has been layered with deep anguish it often feels stormy and cold. These energetic imprints can last for years after they have formed and greatly affect the ambience of a place.

Empaths are affected by dark residual energy in many ways:

Some feel sad, angry or depressed, some may be affected physically: feeling nausea, dizzy, clumsy or weak, and some may find their thoughts darken or a shift in personality may be experienced. Depending on your Sensitivity and the level of an energetic imprint, will depend on what you sense and how you react.

The effect of residual energy can greatly affect an Empath’s balance. When it is positive and filled with love vibrations it is empowering. Low-level energy, however, can lower your moods and influence your decisions. When affected, you may become aware of a shift, as though something is not right, but you may not be able to shake it off or stop it from shaping your behaviour.

Some Empaths are affected by spiritual energy. If a building is classed as “haunted”, an Empath often feels this energy on entering. The energy of a spirit is recognized when you sense a presence, or denser energy, at the same time as a dramatic temperature drop (especially around the lower legs). The more energetically aware you become, the easier it is to identify between residual energy and spiritual energy, and the better you get at preventing it from influencing you.

Energy imprints influence everyone, not just the Sensitive. We’ve all heard of places where history repeats and bad things continue to reoccur such as: wars, accidents, arguments, etc. When unaware people pick up low-level residual energy, and take it on, they can unwittingly re-enact the past script.

Negative residual energy is infectious and can become destructive to the unaware or out-of-balance. Positive residual energy is also contagious, in a vigorously uplifting way, but because much of the populace are already emotionally low, they tend to veer more easily towards the dark. Like attracts like.

As humans, we are never happy when in a low-mood, yet most stay longer, by choice, in a dark mental space.

Sadly, much of our world has been manipulated to keep us down. When we go under emotionally, it is a mammoth task to climb back up and out. This is why it is beneficial for all Empaths to learn to recognize negative residual energy and work to stop it affecting them, which can be done by staying grounded (see this post for techniques).

My next post looks at how destructive the residual energy  of certain people can be, how to recognize it and prevent it from causing unnecessary turmoil. (Click here to read post).

Until next time…

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13 thoughts on “Residual Energy and How It Impacts the Empath

  1. Yes Thanks Now I know what is going on with me I have so much coming over me with people and animals and places that its over taken me with hearing, seeing and feeling , and Yes rainbow colors around people negative or positive. many time it is making me sick its just to much on me, and what if funny I can not control and just happens when ever it wants

  2. Hi! I was googling and I came across your blog. I loved this post as it explains so many things, but I do have a query and I hope you can help. I don’t think I am an empath. My sister is the empath in the family. But my mum, who I was very close to, passed away suddenly through cancer, and I moved into our family home to care for my dad. Even though, it has been 18 months since she passed on, whenever I sit down for a meal at the table with my dad, I am overcome by a feeling of loneliness and sadness that my mum must have felt for my sister and me. You see, my sister and I had been living abroad for years and would visit each year, but I am sure she missed us a great deal! Anyway, I know, I feel it that these feelings are my mum’s. Is this possible? And why? I don’t feel other people’s emotions, and I don’t feel her loneliness anywhere else in the house. Please help! I am starting to freak out a bit!

    • Hi Heldelv,

      Yes, what you have been feeling could be your mum’s residual emotional energy. Especially, if the kitchen was a room where she spent a lot of time releasing emotions.

      Residual energy, left by strong emotions, can linger for many years if not cleared (burning sage or using salt can help cleanse it). This type of energy is normally felt strongly by those who are Sensitive, although not necessarily an Empath.

      Hope this helps.

  3. Thank you so much for this Diane Kathrine. It does help a lot. Pin pointing a potential origin helps tremendously with discharging it. I expect it in the physical and just thought it was weird to pick up from a video of a place. But, now I know! 🙂 Thank you again, so very much. Off to do some grounding work!!! 🙂 Bless.

  4. thank you Diane for your insightful ideas, I always look forward for your new post, truly helpful to understand many aspects of my identity. Once I was in germany, heading to a visit of a concentration camp, suddenly I decided not to go there, due to the overwhelming sadness that i felt in the proximity of the camp. I felt that terrible vibe for weeks and finally i received help of a chaman in order to get better again.

    Hugs from Mexico (sorry about my english).


  5. Wow, thank you so much for clarifying an experience I had in California. We were on a boat and sailed past Alcatraz. I didn’t even want to look in that direction. Later, when our group was planning to tour Alcatraz, I knew I couldn’t participate. The darkness that emanated from “the rock” was overpowering.

  6. Excellent post, it really made me think. About twelve years ago I got back to work at a job I used to hold in the past. I was given a new office cubicle. I suddenly felt sick to my stomach and nauseous while standing within the cubicle space. I was fine when I walked away from the desk. The overwhelming sickening feeling came back each time I had to place something new on the table. Later that day I found out that on Friday evening before the weekend, the employee who sat at that office desk was escorted out of the building by two security men, after being fired. He had seconds to pack his things. He was fuming. That Monday morning I felt the dark residual energy left by this man. I avoided the desk for a good while, finding things to do in our archive for example. Now I know how to handle these situations. Thank you for writing about your experiences and your thoughts!

  7. This post was terrific 👏👏👏👏. Somewhere somehow I found myself here. I guess maybe coz am extra sensitive towards the vibes I receive from a place or a person. But as you rightly said its up to us to let that affect us or not. To go into the dark or to come up and shine.

    Thank you for sharing this.


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